Today, another of the Rules of a Godly Life. I think it’s fitting this is the first listed in the devotional:
Awake in the morning with your thoughts turned to God. Think, this might be your last day of life. And when you go to bed at night, pause a moment to realize that it is unknown to you whether you will awake again on this earth, or whether your next awakening may be at the resurrection. For this reason, we can see that it is expedient to pray daily; in the morning and again at evening, come before God upon your knees, thanking Him for continued care, confessing your sins and shortcomings, and praying for forgiveness.
While in Ohio I learned firsthand from an Amish friend that his mother had died. I had known of health issues but, since we missed connecting on a couple of occasions, I had no inkling that she didn’t make it.
On her deathbed they gathered to sing for her. She passed away before they finished the song. Her passing wasn’t spoken of in hushed tones or with reddened eyes. Clearly she was missed but there was a matter-of-factness and acceptance about it.
Most of us don’t enjoy speaking or thinking of life’s end. We shy away, avoiding it in our words and by our actions. Some fight the signs of aging cosmetically. Others try to recapture youth by their behavior and consumption decisions. The more we treasure our worldly life it seems the harder it is to think of it ending.
For the Amish death is a part of life. With large families and long lists of friends and acquaintances, death happens to people you know often. Which makes for real and frequent reminders of the importance of the latter part of this Rule: being prepared.